Due to fire Adrenaline Granville is operating out of SOH tattoo at 1068 Granville st. Same Block, Same side. Thank you for your continued support.

Theoretically, every tattoo tells a story. After all, there is nearly aways some motivating factor behind a given design beyond a client simply liking a picture of something. That being said, most are pretty self-explanatory and rarely incite conversation or comments beyond “nice tattoo”. You have something else in mind.

You want a tattoo that holds meaning, yet gets others painfully curious about the explanation behind it. This is no easy task. You need to find a picture that’s worth a thousand words (so to speak) and creates a scene that is seemingly pulled from the annals of a novel or anthology of short stories. Furthermore, story tattoos of this nature can only be managed by a handful of tattooists in your area. As one of Vancouver BC’s most-established and renowned studios, we have seen our fair share of such work completed in our artists’ chairs. We’re sharing some of these today so that you may be inspired to tell a story with your own tattoo. Only you know what that will be, but for now we hope you enjoy the designs below.

Examples of Story Tattoos that May Inspire Your Own

The Mystery

This is one of our favorites from back in 2020 (before the world fell apart). The linens, kerosene lamp, spilled cognac snifter, and kitchen knife – what’s going on here? No one knows for certain, but there’s a story behind it that you’re dying to know. Imagine if your own tattoo encouraged this sort of eagerness to learn more.

A Classic Tale

The story needn’t be your own, as it can be borrowed from one of the classics that you hold dear to your heart. And while it may be a classic to you, it may not be as obvious to people from other cultures and generations, which encourages curiosity. One great example of work done at our downtown Vancouver shop is this “Where the Wild Things Are” piece:

An Open Book

You can tackle the concept in a more literal sense (i.e. an open book) but still encourage onlookers to read between the lines to discover the meaning behind it all. This example (from our Granville shop) conveys a sense of magic and wonder that a hint of any good story should infer:


The concept of wanderlust is about more than travel. It’s about getting out there and digging your heels into the discovery of new things that will form the story of your life. This is encapsulated in the following tattoo. There is a compass, a hint of a map, parchment, and a rose to symbolize deep feeling. There is a definite traveler’s tale to be told by this wanderlust-worthy tattoo.



604-669-6800 (Granville St)

604-734-8282 (West 4th Ave)